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Also in the news / People encouraged to postpone Christmas parties, vaccination clinics, new speed limits, suffrage education packs and more…

PUBLIC Health Scotland is urging people to defer Christmas parties given the number of Covid cases nationally, particularly those caused by the Omicron variant.

Director of public health science and medical director Dr Nick Phin said: “There is much that we still need to learn about Omicron, but early evidence suggests that this new Covid variant is much more transmissible.

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“We still need to learn more about the severity of disease caused by Omicron and the effectiveness of vaccines, but there are important things that we can do to help protect ourselves and our families now.

“To help minimise the further spread of Covid-19, and Omicron in particular, I would strongly urge people to defer their Christmas parties to another time.”

Locally there have been seven new cases over the last 24 hours, out of a total of 3,196 across Scotland.


MEANWHILE, NHS Shetland is holding another walk-in vaccination clinic on Saturday between 9.15am and 1.30pm at Gilbertson Park in Lerwick.

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This is for anybody who is due a Covid vaccine – either their first, second or booster, or anyone who is eligible for a flu jab and has not received it yet.

The health board reiterated that people should under no circumstances attend if they have any respiratory symptoms or indeed Covid symptoms.

A spokesperson said: “We have plenty of vaccines and will be delivering them for as long as we need to. We would also ask everyone to remember to socially distance when waiting for their vaccine.”

For questions regarding vaccinations, contact NHS Shetland via email shet.vaccination-team@nhs.scot or call the voicemail service 01595 743319.

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TWO long awaited temporary speed limits on the A970 south of Lerwick and on the A971 at Tresta come into effect on Friday (10 December).

The limits on the A970 will step down from 50 mph at the Black Gaet junction with the B9073, to 40mph at the north Gulberwick Junction and then 30 mph on the South Road, better known as the Sound Brae. There will also be a 40mph limit between the A970 and the existing 30mph signs on the Gulberwick loop road.

The speed limit on the A971 will be reduced to 50mph from east of the Sandsound junction through to the Nev of Tresta.

These limits will be in place for 18 months and the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using the roads will be monitored to determine whether the reduced limits have encouraged more people to walk and cycle.


RURAL affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon has given a commitment to engage with local fishermen after raising concern over a consultation process for offshore floating wind farms to the west of Shetland.

The secretary, who is also the island minister, gave the response following questioning from Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association had earlier in the week raised concerns over the consultation process, pointing to flaws and inaccuracies in the data used.

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Wishart said: “There are serious concerns in the fleet at the moment. This has been a hard time for vessels, with Covid, Brexit and the impact of the climate emergency.

“I am pleased to have had a positive response from the Cabinet Secretary today, who stated she was willing to engage and listen to fishermen’s concerns directly.”


TWO SHETLAND schools have taken delivery of Scottish suffrage history education packs, thanks to the initiative of a Glasgow based charity.

Aith Junior High and Whalsay School are two of around 100 schools in Scotland where pupils will now have access to education material that highlights a part of Scotland’s history which is often overlooked.

In developing the resource, lead artist Dr T. S. Beall said: “We realised that much of the history taught in Scottish schools does not include activists who campaigned in Scotland – it’s as if there wasn’t much going on here. But that’s just not the case.

“There were women and men in every corner of the country who fought for the vote 100-plus years ago. So, we set out to develop a resource that highlights the incredible work of Scottish suffragettes and suffragists.”

Local author Marsali Taylor, who advised the project on Shetland’s suffrage history said: ‘It’s been amazing to see this project progress. I think it’s so important that young people of today should learn about “ordinary” women from all over Scotland who campaigned for women’s rights.”


HJALTLAND Housing Association has achieved the Investors in People Platinum accreditation in recognition of the housing association’s commitment towards their staff and improvements in customer services.

The association’s chief executive Bryan Leask said: “This is a terrific achievement, particularly during a global pandemic and a time of significant change for the organisation.

“The success of Hjaltland Housing Association begins and ends with our people, they are the heartbeat of the organisation; without whom we could not deliver our services to customers and have the level of impact we do in Shetland.”

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